Race 3 at Santa Anita on Saturday, November 2 | Post Time 2:17 PM Eastern Time

Twilight Derby – Grade 2 | Purse $200,000 | One and One-Eighth Miles on Turf | Three Year Olds


Most of the 11 can finish second but two of my four main win contenders open at double digit odds and that makes this race very exciting from a betting perspective.

Hackberry (2) missed by a neck, head and neck in the Del Mar Derby on 9/1 which is common to five of these and although he was 38/1 that day that’s an effort worth noting. He ran poorly in the common classified allowance which three of these ran in on 9/27 but that was a mile and fairly irrelevant. What’s not irrelevant is Prat gets on for the first time and although the Breeders’ Cup weekend jockey colony is tougher than the usual colony in Southern California, Prat rides this course as well as anyone and when he’s ridden for Blacker in the past two years, they are 7 for 22 together. As Hackberry is by English Channel, this nine furlong trip is right in his wheelhouse and the only other foal of the dam won over $500K including stakes on the grass so there are more reasons to think he has the quality to win.

For those who followed me at Keeneland you’ll note I liked Marzo in the Sycamore Stakes two weeks ago and we were rewarded at 14/1. The key was trainer Mike Maker’s strong ability to spot talent in the claiming ranks and find stakes winners. Temple (4) could be another as he was claimed for 35K one before last at the end of July out of a three length win at a mile then Maker put him in the $600K Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs off the claim on 9/8. Temple was NOT disgraced in that race finishing third at 23/1 after leading from the start and through the 1 1/8 mile mark this race ends at. Opening at 20/1, Temple is as playable as Hackberry and you can be sure I’ll be making win/place bets on both.

Nolde (3) and Neptune’s Storm (8) are fairly legitimate favorites, having finished first and third, respectively, and separated by a neck and a head in the Del Mar Derby. Nolde has been rested since pointing for this race and the Derby was his second big effort in a row and proved he can win at this nine furlong turf trip. Neptune’s Storm travelled to New York to win the Hill Prince Stakes at the trip and now has won or missed by inches in five straight races so must be respected.


Betting Strategies:

Win Bets:

Hackberry (2) and Temple (4) to win at odds of 7 to 2 or more, adding place bets at 6 to 1 or more.

Note: Nolde (3) and Neptune's Storm (8) can be considered for win bets as well, at 7 to 2 or more, but it's unlikely they will be those odds or higher near post time.

Exactas: Box Hackberry (2), Temple (4) Nolde (3) and Neptune's Storm (8).

Hackberry (2), Temple (4) Nolde (3) and Neptune's Storm (8) over ALL.

Trifecta: Box Hackberry (2), Temple (4) Nolde (3) and Neptune's Storm (8)